Although plunged into the writing of his novel, Dickens set out to create a new journal, Household Words, the first issue of which appeared on 31 March 1850. This daunting task, however, did not seem to slow down the writing of David Copperfield: I am "busy as a bee", he writes happily to the actor William Macready.
Dickens marked the end of his manuscript on 21 October 1850 and felt both torn and happy like every time he finished a novel: "Oh, my dear Forster, if I were to say half of what Copperfield makes me feel to-night, how strangely, even to you, I should be turned inside out! I seem to be sending some part of myself into the Shadowy World".
"The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger, of Blunderstone Rookery" was published from 1 May 1849 to 1 November 1850 (3 chapters per month) in 19 monthly one-shilling installments, containing 32 pages of text and two illustrations by Hablot Knight Browne ("Phiz"), with a title cover, simplified to The Personal History of David Copperfield. The last installment was a double-number. On the other side of the Atlantic, John Wiley & Sons and G P Putnam published a monthly edition, then a two-volume book version.